Course Choice during a Semester Abroad in the Netherlands

In addition to the choice of university, the choice of course during the semester abroad in the Netherlands is an important criterion for deciding where exactly you should go. Many students attend courses in the Netherlands not only to supplement their studies at their home university. Some take the opportunity and choose courses from previously unknown subject areas or get to know special topics that do not exist at the university in Germany.

The choice of courses in the Netherlands

After successfully applying for a semester abroad in the Netherlands, the next step is to choose the courses. As a rule, students indicate their choice of course directly to the university that accepts them for one or two semesters. To do this, you will receive a form before you start your studies, which you can fill out by post or electronically to the Dutch university or university of applied sciences. In many cases it is also possible to provide this information online.

The exact procedure and the range of course choices during the semester abroad in the Netherlands depend on the university in question. Mostly, students who meet the relevant requirements choose lectures and seminars from the undergraduate or postgraduate area. Sometimes there is a special course offer for Study Abroad students, so-called non-degree courses.

As in Germany, a country located in Europe according to itypetravel, the course catalogs of the Dutch universities appear in the course of the previous semester. The courses offered in the previous academic year also provide orientation.

The choice of courses in the semester abroad in the Netherlands usually comprises 30 ECTS. Depending on how many blocks the Dutch university divides their semester into, international students take one to two courses per block. This corresponds to four to six courses per semester in order to receive the required credits.

If you need help with the courses in the Netherlands, you can contact the respective afdeling studentendecanen or studentenzaken (student advisory service at the Dutch universities).

Tips for choosing a course during your semester abroad in the Netherlands

The choice of courses for a semester abroad in our north-western neighboring country is essentially uncomplicated. Nevertheless, there are a few things to consider:

  • As a rule, there are certain academic or linguistic requirements for each course that participants must meet. It is therefore important to clarify in advance of the semester abroad in the Netherlands which evidence is required in order to be able to participate in the courses. This applies in particular to English or Dutch language certificates. With a transcript of records, the university in the Netherlands checks whether the students meet the appropriate academic requirements for the chosen courses.
  • The courses in the Netherlands are usually designed for a certain number of participants. If this is exceeded, the universities often resort to a lottery procedure. This makes it possible to get to the desired courses at short notice.
  • In many cases, the exact timetable is only determined at the beginning of the Dutch semester abroad. It is possible that courses are canceled or take place at a different time. Therefore, it is advisable to consider more courses beforehand in order to achieve the number you need.
  • When choosing a course, please ensure that the courses do not overlap or take place on different campuses. In the Netherlands the events do not start “cum tempore” as in Germany, but at the specified time.
  • At some Dutch universities, such as the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, there is the possibility of taking a set selection of courses for Study Abroad students or specific subject areas. As a result, there is little risk that courses will overlap or not even take place.

Advantages for German students when choosing a course during a semester abroad in the Netherlands

Students can usually find the timetable for choosing a course for their semester abroad in the Netherlands online or at an introductory event. If a course does not meet expectations, it is usually possible to adjust the course selection accordingly on site. However, students should always keep an eye on their Learning Agreement and update it as well.

Recognition of academic achievements

Once the course selection has been made, students draw up a learning agreement with their home university and submit it to the Dutch university. This enables academic achievements to be recognized after the semester abroad. The prerequisite is that students have attended and passed the chosen courses.

It is helpful if the learning agreement includes more courses than necessary. In this way, students achieve the required credits even if they change or cancel a course.

Course Choice during a Semester Abroad in the Netherlands